Tags: US | Student | Walkout

1,000 NYC Students Walk out to Save Free Rides

Friday, 11 Jun 2010 04:44 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

About 1,000 New York City high school students chanted "This is what democracy looks like!" and waved homemade signs and banners Friday as they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to protest a plan to eliminate their free transit passes.

The students walked out of classrooms all over the city at noon and converged at City Hall Park for a rally with elected officials and transit union members.

Then they marched across the bridge for a second rally at Metropolitan Transportation Authority offices in Brooklyn.

Fernando Matos, 17, a student at Samuel Gompers High School in the Bronx, said that without a free transit pass he would have to transfer to a different school.

"I do not want to go to a local high school," Matos said. "It doesn't have the classes I need."

The protest comes a day after Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a stepped-up effort to fight truancy.

Bloomberg said Friday that the students should have stayed in class.

"If I were them, I'd just think long and hard someday," he said. "If I didn't pass a test, I'd always go back and wonder, 'Was it that afternoon when I was trying to be cute and be out there and picketing was better than being in class?'"

More than 500,000 city students receive free or reduced-fare MetroCards to get to and from school.

The transportation agency has proposed ending the free rides as part of its effort to close an $800 million budget gap.

Without the free passes, families would be forced to buy monthly MetroCards at a cost of about $1,000 a year per child.

"That's money you're taking away from buying them books," said Debbie Officer, a mother of two from Brooklyn who joined the protest.

City Council member Letitia James of Brooklyn told the rally, "Mr. Bloomberg, you just don't seem to get it. This is a lesson about civics, Mr. Bloomberg. This is learning."

Sharon Litaker, a special education teacher at Banana Kelly High School in the Bronx, attended the rally to support her students.

"I just walked out," she said. "A lot of families lost their jobs. They don't have the extra income to pay for their children's MetroCards."

The students took up half the length of the bridge as they marched to Brooklyn shouting "The students, united, will never be defeated!"

A spokesman for the Department of Education said that any disciplinary action the students might face for cutting class would be up to their principals.

——

Associated Press Writer Karen Matthews contributed to this report.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Laura Ingraham: Rand Paul Closest to Americans on Foreign Policy

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 21:43 PM

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, accused of being an isolationist by some fellow Republicans, is actually more in step with the  . . .

Legal Analyst Coffey: Ariz. Execution Won't Affect Death Penalty

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 20:22 PM

Don't expect Arizona's controversial execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood to put a damper on the death penalty, veteran lega . . .

US Data Show States That Got Most Immigrant Kids

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 20:18 PM

States with established Central American immigrant communities have received the most children released to sponsors this . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved